Thursday, February 1, 2007

Panasonic TZ3

Panasonic introduced the new Panasonic DMC-TZ3 camera. Targeted at the active traveler, the TZ3 has sophisticated features in a compact package. Panasonic called this the "lady" camera, as opposed to the "girl" FX30.
Although targeted at more mature customers, the TZ3 is no less trendy than the FX30. It has a very useful 28mm to 280mm lens (10x zoom), at F3.3-4.9. F3.3 is a little slow for low light, hopefully the larger sensor is able to make up for it. The TZ3 is a 7.3 megapixel camera, but the sensor is actually 8.5 megapixel with a size of 1/2.35" (compared to normally 1/2.5"). This allows the TZ3 to capture true 16:9 aspect ratio images, as opposed to some camera where 16:9 means trimming the top and bottom pixels.

The TZ3 has the new features common to the FX30, like the SDHC support, Venus Engine III and the intelligent ISO mode. For travelers, a travel date mode and a memo mode is added. The travel date mode allows a user to set the departure date of the trip, and the camera will record and display the images in chronological order of the trip. The memo mode uses the internal memory (12.7MB) to store essential information, for example a photo of a subway map, that can be displayed quickly later. I can imagine this mode being very useful, because the TZ3 has a 3" LCD. A three inch LCD is very easy on the eyes, which makes showing off photos to friends a very enjoyable experience.

Make me wonder when we'll be able to watch TV on a camera :)

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